Interracial dating vs interracial marriage

In spite of the Bahá’í faith’s innermost message of “Oneness of Mankind,” many people of the faith living in Washington, D. adhered to the attitude of racial segregation that was rampant during the time.With Bahá’í leader Abdu’l-Bahá declaring his staunch support for interracial marriages, Louis and Louisa were married in 1912 in New York, becoming the first interracial Bahá’í couple.

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Although such laws officially remained on the books in several states, the Lovings’ landmark victory rendered them effectively unenforceable, ensuring nobody else would have to endure the same treatment.

The last law officially prohibiting interracial marriage was repealed in Alabama in 2000.

On July 11, 1958, newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were asleep in bed when three armed police officers burst into the room.

The couple were hauled from their house and thrown into jail, where Mildred remained for several days, all for the crime of getting married.

At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races.

Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. Upon their return to Virginia, they were arrested and found guilty, with the judge informing Mildred that “as long as you live you will be known as a felon.” The Lovings moved to the relative safety of Washington, but longed to return to their home state.

The two met in 1911 on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Egypt.

Their love for one another was not received well by the general public, especially in the United States, where racism was still very much the norm.

Historians have speculated that their unusual marriage was one of the first of its kind.

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